Brand new internal combustion engine (ICE) fitted to Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull [The French manufacturer used 11 of its 12 in-season development tokens], and it was Renault’s first performance upgrade of the season, but failed to deliver any clear benefit in lap time and was actually slower on the straights than the old version.
“We debuted the upgraded ICE with Daniel [Ricciardo], knowing that we would have to take a heavy grid penalty for relatively minimal performance gains,” Renault Sport F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul said.
“It was crucial, however, for us to do this to gather as much information as possible for the next stage in our development plans.
“The upgrade ran reliably but we must now look at the data accumulated from the weekend to establish its full performance potential, and adjust our development strategy accordingly.”
Renault director of operations Remi Taffin added: “The engine ran reliably, but unfortunately it did not deliver the expected improvements in performance. All the same, the reliable running ensured we gathered a lot of data to analyse how we can move forward to the final race of the year and going into the winter.”
Brazilian GP key race points:
– Daniil Kvyat started from sixth on the grid but was taken by Bottas off the line, dropping down to seventh. He challenged Hulkenberg in front for sixth, closing to within one second, but could not find a way past.
– Infiniti Red Bull Racing team-mate Daniel Ricciardo started from 19th after taking a penalty for introducing a new-spec ICE. He was 14th by the end of the first lap and thereafter made solid progress through the field, taking Nasr and Maldonado to move into the top 12. He was classified 11th after Maldonado received a post-race penalty.
– Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen put in a strong performance as he fought with the Force India of Sergio Perez and both Lotus cars for a points finish. He pulled off a spectacular move on Perez through the Senna S on lap 32 but was passed by Grosjean just a few laps later. He moved back into the points on lap 68 with a pass on Pastor Maldonado. Felipe Massa’s downgrading will offer him ninth position and 2 points at the championship.
– Carlos Sainz appeared to suffer a reoccurrence of the issue that hampered his qualifying yesterday on his way to the grid. He started from the pitlane but retired just a few corners after the start when the problem reappeared.